Hg2 : The Hedonist

A Hedonist’s guide to…

Baku

Gobustan
Gobustan is famed for its petroglyphs; seek and ye shall find.
Wine City
Imported wine don't come cheap but that doesn't seem to matter to those who flock here for wine outside of the region.
Brothers Carpets
Threadbare carpets are a thing of the past at Brothers Carpets which specialisies in repairing and restoring your rugs to their former glory.
Sheki
While it may be six or so hours from Baku the mountain town of Sheki is well worth the slog.  Just make sure to fill up with petrol before you hit some pretty damn remote roads.
Hyatt Regency
Ivanovka
Ever wanted to get up close and personal with a remote religious sect? Then head to Ivanovka home to such a sect.
Absheron Peninsula
Scattered across the Absheron Peninsula are dozens of traditional Bakuvian villages worth checking out; rent a car and stop by a couple one lazy afternoon.
Arabesque
Dubai style is a-go-go at Arabesque with the kind of fabulously flamboyant interiors that would make Elton John's very own boudoir seem tame.
Fountain Square
All kind of bits and bobs can be picked up around Fountain Square; enter here for our pick of the retail litter.
Lahij
Looking to escape the city limits? Then head to Lahij a traditional coppersmiths' village two-three hours northwest of Baku.
Ismailli Wines
Winos and connoisseurs alike will love the liquid on offer at Ismailli Wines. Forget the eat; drink and be merry.
28th May Street
High-end is the name of the game on this street. The highlight? Why a flagship J-Lo store of course.
Aura Spa
Hazz Café
Located on the ground floor of the Landmark Building - which is teeming with people whatever the weather - it would be a dodgy café indeed that sat empty here. Thankfully Hazz Café is far from dodgy; in fact it's great with brliiant breakfa
Duplex Café
With no soulless chains in sight the city is open to brilliant independent openings such as Duplex; and with a young crowd of hipsters there's nowhere cooler to sip your coffee.
Azza Café
Cafés aren't usually given the design treatment but the Azza Café at the foot of the ISR Plaza building is an elegant exception; expect the kind of interiors you'd find in a glossy magazine and desserts to ruin any calorie-controlled diet.
Ali & Nino Café
Ali & Nino Café is named after a pair of famous star-crossed lovers in Azeri literature; the book theme carries throughout with a bookshop in the basement and a selection of light bites to snack on while you get stuck between musty pages.
Old City Hammam
Expect to be scrubbed and pummelled within an inch of your life...
Taze Bey
Who wouldn't want a massage with Roman Centurions and deer antlers abounding?
Mafia
Despite being an Azeri/Russian-only game it's still fun to watch a game of Mafia; cards never looked so cutthroat.
Hash House Harriers
Run off the excesses of the weekend with the Hash House Harriers; beats sweating it out solo surely?
Club Oasis
Something for everyone at Club Oasis.
Fantasia
Be brave and submit to some vigorous scrubbing and rubbing, Azeri-style...
Neftchilar Avenue
Label lovers can't get enough of this shopping district brimming with shops selling their designer wares.
Dondurma
Those with sweet teeth will lap up the goodies on offer at Dondurma Café with ice-cream crepes and coffee galore.
The Lounge
We've never seen someone's living room look quite as plush as Lounge - all velvet drapes and polished wooden tables - but it still tries to recreate homely look.
Azerbaijan Rugby Federation
Ball sports aren't necessarily Baku's thing but that doesn't stop the ex-pats from getting together to form a team. Watch and learn.
Young Spectators’ Theatre
More than a cultural must-see the Young Spectator's Theatre is an architectural wonder; a marvel of modern design.
Shirvanshah’s Palace
With awe-inspiring architecture at every turn it can be hard to know where to look inside Shirvanshah's Palace; so take your time and be sure to designate a significant chunk of your schedule to soaking up this colossal cultural must-see.
Opera & Ballet Theatre
Currently undergoing a mammoth refurb the Opera and Ballet Theatre remains one of the most beautiful buildings in Baku. While you can't check out a performance at present you can stand and stare at its wonder.
Museum of Literature
While its stash of manusripts is undeniably impressive it is the façade of the Museum of Literature that really has our mouths agape in wonder; simply stunning.
International Mugham Centre
Celebrating Azeri Mugham - a traditional style of folk music - the International Mugham Centre isn't just a cultural masterpiece but an architectural one too.
Heydar Aliyev Palace
As Baku's best live music venue you'd expect the Heydar Aliyev Palace to boast an impressive events calendar; and it does with the likes of Kelly Rowland having played alongside George Benson in 2009.
Hajinski Mansion
Having been painstakingly restored to its former glory the Hajinsky Mansion is like looking through the keyhole into Baku's glory days.
Filarmonia
Classic music lovers rejoice; indoor and outdoor performances of the best kind are put on right here. Impressive stuff indeed.
Carpet Museum
We all like the feeling of something soft underfoot which is where the Carpet Museum comes in handy; home to thousands of carpet you'll find all kinds of prints and patterns here.
Bibi Heybat Mosque
If you're looking for Facebook photos call off the search; the Bibi Heybat Mosque will have more comments on your profile page than any drunken party snap could ever generate.
Baku State Circus
Roll up roll up! The circus has come to town; enjoy all its carnivalesque goings-on right here.
Khalifa
Khalifa is like an Aladdin's cave of wonders with Arabic-style décor and dancers to match; just don't ask them to rub your magic lamp.
Jazz Centre
Jazz is like Marmite - you either love or hate it. If your personal preference is the former then head to the Jazz Centre for some of the best jazz in town.

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